LEADER…who is a leader and what exactly constitutes a leader? Are leaders born? Are they developed? Can you teach leadership? Thousands of articles and books have been published describing what it takes to be a leader. Some researchers and authors claim a leader possesses certain traits or abilities; others say it’s all personality. Still others maintain it’s the
behaviors that are crucial. I really don’t have a definitive answer. I just know when I meet someone that inspires me, someone that I admire, someone that I wish I possessed many of their characteristics…that to me is a leader. A very dear friend that I believe possesses all the qualities of a leader recently sent me a quote by John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, you are a leader”. Someone you look up to, want to be like, that, to me, is a leader.
I found a great article written by Dr. David G. Javitch that I think really summarizes some of the essential traits of a leader: Leaders know what their Mission is. Leaders know why the organization exists. Leaders have Vision and know where their organization needs to go. Leaders have a Goal and how the organization is going to achieve its mission and vision and how to measure it’s progress. Leaders are Competent, they must be seen by advisors, stakeholders, employees, and the public as being an expert in their field or an expert in leadership. A leader builds a Strong Team – a wise leader assembles effective teams of experienced, credentialed, and capable individuals who can supplement any voids in the leader’s skill set. A true leader must possess Communication Skills – It does little good to have a strong mission, vision, and goals if the leader cannot easily and effectively convey his ideas inside and outside of the organization. A leader has a “can do, get it done” attitude – Nothing builds a picture of success more than achievement, and achievement is the number one factor that motivates just about everyone across all cultures. A leader fosters Inspiration – People need someone to look up to for direction, guidance, and motivation. The leader needs to be that person. And last but not least is Ambition – those in the rank and file, the volunteers, the employees, need to be constantly striving for improvement and success; and they need to see the same and more in their leaders.
Throughout history we have had many great leaders, many of these people don’t believe they are leaders, they go quietly about their day doing what they need to do. They are unheralded leaders, who just by their daily outlook in life, inspire us. They encourage us to do more, to expand our horizons. They could be our friends, our children, people we meet in our everyday lives. Yes, true leaders are sometimes walking quietly among us. Look around you and you will find that leaders are everywhere, learn from them, do more, dream more!
Until Next Monday…
Look around you and you will find they are everywhere, learn from them, do more, dream more.!